Waking Nights: The 4 Things That Will Impact Your Sleep Quality

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It appears that pretty much everyone nowadays has a problem with their sleep. Either we can’t get enough of it because we don’t have the time, or we are able to get to bed at a good time, but we are unable to fall asleep, and we end up tossing and turning throughout the whole night, waking up to see every hour on the clock. We feel compelled to burn the candle at both ends, in work and in life, because we think this will keep us ahead of the game. In fact, it’s very much the opposite, if you slept 6 hours a night for two weeks instead of the recommended 8, the sleep deprivation would be the same as going 48 hours without sleep! We see people being prescribed sleeping pills, waking pills, and everything in between! But is there a simpler key to feeling rested? Here are some of the big things that impact us having a quality sleep.

Our Smartphones

This is the best place to start, the amount of information that has shown the negative impact of smartphones and tablets on our quality of sleep pops up everywhere, yet we still choose to have a quick gander at our social media just before we turn in for the night. Here is the main point to take away, the blue light emitted from, not just your smartphone or your tablet, but also any electrical devices (like your television and computers), will interrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. While you may have slept the adequate amount of sleep your body needs, you won’t feel as rested because the melatonin hormone has been interrupted, resulting in a lack of deep sleep. The solution? Remove all forms of lights from your bedroom! It’s that simple. Install blackout blinds, wear an eye mask, anything to remove the light from your room. If you really need to look at your smartphone before you go to sleep, install a blue light filter to eliminate the harsh tones of the screen, and so it’s, therefore, easier on your eyes.

Our Bed

We all know how bad it can be if the bed we sleep in is lumpy and uncomfortable, we just can’t get relaxed enough to have a decent quality sleep. You know how bad you feel when you accidentally fall asleep on the couch and stay there all night? I’s a very similar thing. There are many factors to a great night’s sleep in our bed, the size of the bed, the comfiness, the pillow, and, of course, the temperature. If we have the wrong pillow, we will wake up with a stiff neck, so make sure that your pillow is the right size and supports the natural curve of your neck when you are sleeping on your back. The right mattress is integral to a great night’s sleep. A very popular type of mattress is one with memory foam, and these have numerous advantages, but there are also other types of mattresses like innerspring, natural latex, and even waterbeds. You can check out this site for mattress reviews to give you a better idea of what suits you. You should also think about sealing your mattress, especially if you are prone to allergies. If you have an old mattress, it can fill up with dust mite droppings and mold over time. It’s a given, if we don’t have a good quality bed, we won’t get a good quality sleep.

Stress And Anxiety

Have you found yourself not being able to sleep because you are worried about something? You are not alone, but there are things you can do to help ease your worries before going to sleep so you can have adequate rest to deal with the challenges in the morning. One of the most effective things to do is a “brain dump,” where you write down all of your anxieties and thoughts onto paper, fold the paper up, and simply put it to one side. This will stop you going over things in your mind so much. It’s a great way to declutter your mind before bedtime. Another way to reduce stress and anxiety is to start taking up a positive practice before bedtime, such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, anything to get you into a relaxed state. One common method that has been popular is the 4, 7, 8 method. This is a deep breathing exercise where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. You do this until you feel yourself drifting off. The important thing is to focus on the breath, and not your thoughts. The other effective way to deal with stress and anxiety is not just before bedtime, but by working at de-stressing yourself every day. So you can try these techniques at any time of day. Box breathing is another type of breathing technique that is actually used by Navy Seals, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and then rest without air in your lungs for another 4 seconds. And you can do this for as long as you want until you calm down.

Our Health

Put very simply, if you’re not healthy, you won’t be resting at the optimum level. So this means having, not just a healthy diet, with well-timed stimulants (in other words, no caffeine after midday), but also exercising on a regular basis. The importance of working out isn’t just great for our bodies, but it also will help us to fall asleep and improve our sleep quality. If you get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, you will see the benefits in your sleep. The best type of exercise is moderate to vigorous exercise, from the standard cardio, all the way through to exercises like yoga. One of the key factors in this may be the intake of oxygen, as you will naturally breathe heavier during a workout, which will trigger relaxation responses.

There are other factors, from the temperature of your room to your sleep cycles, but if you can tackle these four issues, you will see a drastic improvement in your overall quality of sleep, and therefore your quality of life.

Forward Planning: Why You Should Start Putting Your Health First Now

Many of us are guilty of assuming that our youth will shield us from health problems. Sadly, although it’s true that many illnesses are more common in older people, this doesn’t mean that you can live like a rockstar without any implications. The truth is that health should be an issue that concerns all of us, no matter our age. Even if you’re a sprightly 20 or 30-year old, it’s important to start putting your health first now, as the choices you make will impact you later in life. Here are some simple ways you can make the future brighter.

Your diet
You may think that you’re healthy because you fit in the normal category of the BMI chart, but if you analyzed your diet, would it be given the thumbs up by a dietitian? You don’t have to eat nothing but pulses, seeds, fruit, and vegetables every day to be healthy, but it’s so important to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Try and include a range of foods, and focus on including all the major food groups. The bulk of your diet should comprise complex carbohydrates, and you’ll then need to add protein, fats and fruit and vegetables. Aim for five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, opt for whole grains whenever possible and keep an eye on your intake of sugar and saturated fats. The best sources of fats are those that contain essential omega acids. Examples include oily fish and olive oil.

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Your alcohol intake
Most people enjoy an alcoholic drink from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation and you don’t need to have your intake monitored with an EtG test. However, it is a good idea to keep track of how much you drink in an average week. There may be days when you drink more than usual, for example, if you’re going to a wedding or celebrating a birthday, but if you exceed the recommended weekly intake of 14 units on a regular basis, it’s wise to try and cut down. Drinking too much can increase your risk of liver cirrhosis and some forms of cancer.

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Your activity levels
Did you know that 80 percent of American adults fail to hit weekly activity targets? If you don’t do enough exercise and you have a sedentary lifestyle, being more active will benefit you now and in the future. Regular exercise helps to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility and it can also improve your mental health. If you don’t want to lift weights or run for miles on a treadmill at the gym, don’t worry. There are countless other methods of getting fit you can try and even making simple changes to your daily routine can help. Go for a walk on your lunch break or cycle to work instead of catching a bus. You could join a local tennis, netball or hockey club, you could sign up for spinning, dancing or yoga classes or you could order some DVDs and work out at home. Government recommendations suggest 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

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Even if you’re young and you think you’re healthy, it’s never too early to make your health your priority.

A Stronger Body Is A Better Body

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You only get one body in this life, which is why there is a huge responsibility to treat it with care. Frankly, we all dream of having the best body for a life of quality and quantity. While many factors contribute to the overall situation, there is no doubt that strength is one of the most integral elements.

Why A Strong Body?

There are many reasons to want a stronger body. Firstly, the athletic appearance is the one that modern society deems to be most beautiful. While those factors are somewhat superficial, there’s no doubting that looking good makes us feel good. Conversely, being overweight is a known source of stress and mood swings. Essentially, a strong body makes you look and feel your best.

Moreover, a strong body can allow you to do more in life. This could be something like completing endurance races to achieve a personal goal. Alternatively, it may mean doing jobs around the home. In some cases, increased strength can even open up doors to new career paths.

There are many other reasons for wanting to get a stronger body. The real question, though, is how to get it.

The Route To Increased Strength

Most people assume that weightlifting is the only way to increased strength. While finding a great workout to target key muscle groups provides a solid foundation, it’s not the only key factor to consider. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that using the body’s natural resistance is often the best source of muscle growth exercises.

Cardio can boost your strength too. Not only does it actively work muscles in a different way to provide a comprehensive approach. But it also burns the fat. This doesn’t necessarily make the body physically stronger. However, carrying less weight will unquestionably improve the performance of muscles as well as organs.

The body’s core needs to be equally solid. AlgaeCal plant calcium and other natural dietary additions can be key to maintaining strong bones. Given that this provides the support for muscles, it can go a long way to avoiding injuries and extending workout times. While this is particularly useful as you get older, it can be utilized at all times.

Physical strength isn’t the only key component, however. A strong mindset is the greatest weapon you’ll ever possess. Developing a sense of motivation will help you break through the barriers. Subsequently, it’ll let you achieve greater results than you ever thought possible.

When Is The Right Time To Make A Change?

The first step is often the hardest, but it’s never too early or late to get started on a personal journey. A strong body can transform the way you think about yourself, as well as the response you gain from others. In truth, that’s something everyone will enjoy.

There is no set timeframe on how long it might take to complete the transformation. However, all progress is good progress, regardless of how slow it comes. Getting stronger isn’t about the speed of the journey. The important factor is that you get to reach the intended destination.

It will improve your life dramatically.

The Heart Of The Matter: Simple Ways To Start Protecting Your Heart Now

When somebody mentions the word health to you, what kinds of thoughts or images pop into your mind? For many of us, heart health is an important consideration, but we tend to assume that we only need to worry about our most precious vital organ later in life. The reality is that it’s never too early to start protecting your heart, as youth doesn’t make you immune from cardiac complications. If you’re keen to do more to boost your heart health, this guide should prove useful.

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Heart disease: the facts
Did you know that heart disease is the most common killer in the US behind cancer? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 610,000 lives are lost to heart disease every year. This equates to a quarter of deaths. Many of us assume that heart disease is something that only affects older people, but statistics show that more and more younger people are experiencing cardiovascular health problems. Heart disease is more common in men than women, accounting for more than half of male deaths every year. However, the gap between the sexes is narrowing.

What causes heart disease?
In most cases, people who have symptoms of heart disease have at least one risk factor. Risk factors increase your risk of developing a certain type of illness, but they don’t necessarily mean that you’re going to end up being diagnosed with a disease. The more risk factors you have, the higher the chance of falling ill. The main risk factors for heart disease include:

High blood pressure
Your blood pressure reading measures the force at which blood travels through the blood vessels. If you have high blood pressure, known as hypertension, this can put you at risk of strokes and heart attacks. There are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, so it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. If your readings are too high, you may be advised to make lifestyle changes or to start taking medication. Ideally, your blood pressure should be around 120/80.

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High cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty substance, which plays an important role in the body. We all need cholesterol, but if your cholesterol levels are too high, this can be dangerous. There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. If your LDL readings are too high, you may be encouraged to make changes to your diet, and this article is a useful reference tool https://www.prevention.com/health/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally.

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Smoking
Smoking is a major risk factor for a host of deadly diseases, including heart disease. Smoking damages the walls of the arteries, which increases the risk of atherosclerosis. This condition occurs when fatty deposits collect in the artery walls, making it difficult for blood to flow freely. If the arteries are narrow, the risk of blockages increases, and this elevates the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heart attacks happen when blood supply to and from the heart is disturbed while strokes occur when oxygen cannot reach the brain. Quitting smoking can lower your risk of developing cardiac illnesses, and if you want to give up, there is help available. Your doctor can give you more information about treatments such as nicotine replacement and you can also visit vaporescence.com to learn about vaping. Vaping is widely regarded as a safer alternative to smoking because it doesn’t expose you to the hundreds of harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Some people also find seeing a stop smoking adviser or attending group support sessions beneficial. It may also be helpful to avoid other smokers in your social circle for a while and to avoid places where you usually smoke, such as bars or restaurants.

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Inactivity
Your heart is a muscle, and just like other muscles, if you don’t work it, you won’t get the best out of it. Inactivity has been hailed as a greater threat to health than obesity. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, but studies show that 80 percent of American adults don’t hit this target. Simple changes can make all the difference if you’re trying to be more active. Wear an activity tracker or use an app to reach a daily steps goal, start walking or cycling to work and always take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you don’t do any exercise, think about joining a gym, going to the pool a few times a week or asking friends or your partner to go for a jog after work. Exercising frequently will boost your health, and you should also notice that it lifts your mood, reduces stress and helps you to sleep at night.

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Obesity
Obesity is linked to several serious diseases. If you’re obese, you’re likely to have a higher risk of developing heart disease, especially if you carry a lot of excess fat around the middle. Obesity can lower good cholesterol levels and increase bad cholesterol, and people who are obese are also likely to be less active. Obesity also increases the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. If you are obese, it’s wise to try and lose weight and reach that healthy weight range. The best way to do this is to control your diet, follow a healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan and exercise more frequently. Avoid fad diets and anything that claims to be a quick fix, as these options tend to produce short-term results and they’re usually not very good for your health. Your doctor can help you set goals and stay focused, and you may also find it useful to enlist the help of a personal trainer. They can draw up tailored workouts and be there to support, reassure and motivate you.

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If you want to be healthier, looking after your heart is an excellent place to start. You should never take your health for granted, even if you’re young. You may think that you’ll never have to worry about heart attacks or strokes, but the statistics don’t lie. It’s never too early to start protecting your heart and making choices that will keep it beating for many years to come.

Your Health Is A Lifelong Investment!

Looking after your health is a task that we should be engaged in throughout our life. It’s also a really important step to take in ensuring that our future is happy as possible. In fact, our health should be something that is always on the top of our list, no matter what age we are. So read on to find out what you should be thinking about in term of health at each stage of life.

60+

For the over 60s health is often something that is at the forefront of their minds. This is often a product of the combination of getting older, as well as the increased likelihood of health problems at a more advanced age.

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Things that the over 60s as a general rule should be considering include staying active despite mobility issues, bone density, and heart health. As well as provision for their futures in case of worsening health.

For many people, this will include looking into elder care options. Whether this includes nursing care or home help. As it can be very useful to have a plan in place. As it provides additional peace of mind and makes any transitions that do have to happen easier because you have chosen them yourself. Not had them forced upon you by well-meaning family members.

50s

Folks in their 50’s don’t get off lightly with health concerns with either. As there are plenty of conditions, they should be looking out for, as well as actively protecting against. One of the most serious of these is diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes.

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This is a condition that develops during a person’s lifetime, usually due to factors such as weight, body mass index, diet, and how physically fit they are. It concerns the bodies inability to process sugars correctly and is usually thereby administering insulin tablets. However, as lifestyle factors are a massive reason for its occurrence, eating healthily and staying fit in your 50s can have a huge impact on the likelihood that you will contract this disease, and how well it’s managed when you do have it.

40s

Folks in their forties may not be as acutely aware of the health issues associated with ages as those that are above 60 are. Although they are probably more conscious of them than the average 20-year-old.

Issues that may be on their radar includes a decline in energy, worsening of eyesight, and even a higher incidences of depression or anxiety.

Of course, these two conditions can strike anyone at any age, as they are not respecters of social stratifies. Although statistically, it is more likely that they will begin to rear their ugly head at this time.

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To deal with them, it’s helpful to mention how you are feeling at your next check up with the doctor, so together you can explore options for relief. These may include medication, meditation, and diet and exercise changes. Along with some therapy such as CBT or ACT that can help you reframe the thoughts that are causing these feelings, and cope with them better.

Medical check-up

How often do you go to your doctor for general check-up? Do you go regularly or only when you feel something is not right with your body? Do you have a family doctor?

I’m curious because I know for most professionals, there is a health card provided by the companies they work for. But for those of us who do freelance work, we rely on our income to fund our trips to the doctor’s clinic. And it’s pricey! A regular consultation with a medical doctor averages about 400 to 600 pesos in professional fees. That’s already a minimum salary for the day of an average Filipino worker. I doubt you will shell out that much when you aren’t feeling anything bad. I won’t.

So how do you go about taking care of your healthy/body? Do tell.

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